Taiwan bristles at China's latest and largest show of air power

Taiwan on Saturday condemned China for flying 38 military aircraft into the country’s Air Defense Identification Zone on Friday, the largest show of air power by the country yet, CNN reported.

"China has been wantonly engaged in military aggression, damaging regional peace,” Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang said on Saturday, according to Reuters.

China, which has previously flown military aircraft toward Taiwan, flew two rounds of military aircraft toward Taiwan on Friday. According to Taiwan’s defense ministry, China flew 18 J-16 fighter jets, four Su-30 fighters, two H-6 bombers and an anti-submarine aircraft into the country’s air defense zone. 

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Taiwan noted that it used air defense missile systems to monitor the activity near the Pratas Islands, according to Reuters.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said that on Friday night another round of Chinese military aircraft flew toward Taiwan, including 10 J-16 fighter jets, two H-6 bombers and one KJ-500 early warning aircraft. According to Reuters, those planes flew around the Bashi Channel.

Those rounds of Chinese aircraft were followed up on Saturday with an additional round of 20 aircraft flown toward Taiwan during the daytime, Taiwan’s defense ministry noted. Those were again flown near the Pratas Islands. 

“Oct. 1 wasn't a good day. The #PLAAF flew 38 warplanes into #Taiwan's ADIZ, making it the largest number of daily sorties on record. Threatening? Of course. It's strange the #PRC doesn't bother faking excuses anymore,” Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said in a tweet on Friday.

China’s show of air force comes as Taiwan continues to assert that it is a sovereign country separate from China, though Beijing has claimed that it is under the country’s governance and is not its own entity.